YWCA Lincoln's Job Outfitters Still Going Strong

YWCA Lincoln’s Job Outfitters Still Going Strong

For over 29 years, YWCA Lincoln’s Job Outfitters has offered women in the Lincoln community career clothing, guidance, hope, and encouragement.

Job Outfitters was started in 1986 when four organizations came together to meet the needs of women in the Lincoln Community: Lincoln-Lancaster Commission on the Status of Women, the YWCA, Business and Professional Women- Axis Chapter, and American Business Women’s Association- Horizon Chapter. The program was born when the Women of Color Task Force suggested the idea of a clothing bank to assist women with appropriate clothing for interviews. We are excited to see this program continue to grow and empower our community

In December 2012, the YWCA Lincoln and Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. teamed up to expand services to women and men who are working and seeking employment in a variety of professions. Job Outfitters offers real world guidance for interviewing, online resources, money management, and job retention. The program provides assistance throughout the progression of an individual’s job search journey: from unemployment to resume creation, interviewing, and securing the job to earning a promotion. Participants are given vouchers, which can be used at any Goodwill retail location in Lincoln to shop for interview and work apparel. Those wishing to donate clothing to the YWCA for this program may now take items to any of Goodwill’s 6 Lincoln locations, or deliver them to the YWCA offices.

To utilize this program, participants should visit the American Job Center, Suite 205 on the 3rd Floor at 1111 O Street (SCC Offices/Centrum Building/Education Square) in downtown Lincoln. After providing employment-training services, eligible participants are issued vouchers that can be used at any of Goodwill’s Lincoln locations for employment clothing, accessories, and shoes. Job Outfitter’s clients are seen Monday through Friday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. No appointment is necessary. You can also call the YWCA offices at 402-434-3494, for more information regarding this service.

Know To Whom You Are Giving


The holidays bring out the best in most, but scams are rampant. With #GiveGoodwill, Goodwill encourages smart giving this season and all year-round.

The holiday season inspires generous giving. In fact, most charitable donations and volunteer hours are contributed in the last three months of the year. But while the air of peace, faith and hope brings out the best in most, it can bring out the worst in some in the form of scams and rip-offs.

A 10-year-old email resurfaces annually during the holidays, making erroneous statements about several charitable organizations, including Goodwill. It stands as a firm reminder that everyone considering making a monetary gift or donation should do so wisely. Goodwill reminds donors to be diligent about charitable giving, to research organizations using sites like CharityWatch, and to make sure they’re donating to authentic bins.

"We always encourage those generous enough to give to give wisely;" said Amanda Hamilton, Communications Director of Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. "Do your research and educate yourself about the recipient's goals, financials and efficiency. At Goodwill, we're completely transparent and proud of our consistently high ratings among all charity watchdog groups."

Those who choose to give to Goodwill can be confident that their financial gift and donated goods provide exponential benefits throughout the Lincoln and York communities. Monetary gifts can be given safely and securely through Goodwill’s website  or http://lincolngoodwill.org/monetary-contributions , and they go directly to helping members of our community. A donation of clothing or household items gives belongings a second life and reduces waste. Goodwill shoppers benefit from the opportunity to find the perfect gift or holiday ensemble, and all donations give hope to those seeking work by funding vital training and employment services. Goodwill's donation impact calculator provides detailed feedback on the effect even the smallest donations can have.

For more information about how your financial gift, donated goods and store purchases support efforts in the local community, visit our website at www.lincolngoodwill.org. Share your Goodwill donations on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #GiveGoodwill.

Give smart this holiday season. #GiveGoodwill.


Where are They Now

How to Turn Toys from the Past into Jobs of the Future

Every holiday season, it seems there's a new toy, game or device that has parents making a mad dash to the mall. While some of those holiday favorites live on for years, others fall by the wayside faster than you can say “Happy New Year!” Luckily, for 83 years, Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. has been available to turn the items in your land of forgotten toys (formerly known as your basement or garage) into job training and employment services for the Lincoln community.

Let's take a look at some of the most memorable and sought-after holiday toys of the last 20 years and how they can make a difference today.

Beanie Babies (1995): In the mid-‘90s, Beanie Babies were all the rage, and shoppers scrambled to find just the right ones to complete their collections. Beanie Babies had been around for years before they hit the big time, but it was a marketing strategy built around retiring certain popular Babies that drove the toys to the next level. This "manufactured scarcity" sent collectors scurrying, and by the end of 1996, more than 100 million Beanie Babies had been sold. Where are they now? Even though their heady heyday has passed, new Beanie Babies are still widely available today.


Tickle Me Elmo (1996): This stuffed, interactive Sesame Street character caused mass hysteria and literal stampedes when production didn't meet demand for Christmas 1996. Stories of Elmos selling for 50 times the retail price, or more, were not unheard of. Where are they now? Elmo's no one-hit wonder! Several new editions have been released over the years, including Tickle Me Elmo Extreme, Elmo Live and Let's Rock Elmo.



Holiday Donation Tip: Goodwill is happy to accept donations of clean plush toys in good condition. Make another child's holiday season brighter by donating stuffed toys that are no longer played with in your home. Find your nearest donation site here or schedule a pick up of large items here.

Tamagotchi (1997): These key-fob-sized, egg-shaped digital pets required around-the-clock care and feeding. Even though Tamagotchi disrupted classrooms and gave children unexpected lessons in death when their digital pets died from neglect, consumers couldn't get enough of them. Japanese toy maker Bandai reported a whopping $150 million in Tamagotchi sales in 1996 alone. Where are they now? Tamagotchi devices have experienced a recent resurgence as Tamagotchi Friends, and apps emulating the original devices are a hit on smartphones.



Furby (1998): The care and feeding of inanimate objects continued the following year with the success of Furby. Beloved by children and despised by family pets, these Gremlin-lookalikes demanded your attention in their own Furbish language. More than 15 million were sold in 1998 and 1999. Where are they now? Furby has been going strong in recent years with new smartphone-connected editions that Gizmodo says possess "…an unconscionable degree of loud, bright and wiggly."



Razor Scooters (2000): Whether you were a kid in the suburbs or a junior executive in midtown Manhattan at the turn of the century, you may have transported yourself from A to B with the ubiquitous Razor scooter. More than 5 million of the original model sold in its first six months on the market, earning Razor the 2000 Toy of the Year award. Where are they now? With a number of models for kids and grown-ups, including motorized scooters, Razor is still going strong today.



Holiday Donation Tip: Donations of scooters, bikes and skateboards are always welcome at Goodwill. These donations provide opportunities for healthy, active fun for the buyers and employment opportunities for those who benefit from your generous Goodwill donations.

Bratz Dolls (2001): Although the brash Bratz dolls debuted to meager numbers in the summer of 2001, by Christmas of that year they'd built up momentum to become a hit. In their first five years, 125 million Bratz Dolls were sold, and they'd managed to capture 40 percent of the fashion doll market, giving stalwart Barbie a run for her money. Where are they now? After an 11-year legal battle with Barbie's maker Mattel, Bratz are making a comeback in 2015 with, of course, a smartphone app tie-in and modern tech accessories.



Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo (2005-2006): – The mid-aughts were a great time for gamers with giant leaps in technology leading to the release of the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii consoles within a 12-month period. These so-called seventh-generation consoles included never-before-seen advances like high-definition graphics, 3D Blu-ray capabilities and wireless motion-sensing controllers. Where are they now? All three manufacturers — Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo — are going strong with new editions Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U, respectively.



Holiday Donation Tip: Goodwill accepts donations of gaming consoles, handhelds and video games. Review our Annual Report to visualize the importance of your donation to the local community.

Zhu Zhu Pets (2009) and Squinkies (2010): In a time dominated by a growing recession and popular but expensive electronics offerings, leave it to two decidedly low-tech toys to give iPads and iPods a run for their money. At under $10 each, Zhu Zhu Pets — small, battery-operated hamsters — flew off the shelves in 2009, selling 10 million units that season. The following year, Squinkies — tiny collectible figurines sold in packs of 16 — debuted at the same price point. Squinkies' popularity was driven by a then-novel approach of encouraging mom bloggers to promote the toy. The strategy worked, and Squinkies sold out at Walmart and Target stores nationwide.





If any of these once-popular toys are cluttering your home, consider making a donation to Goodwill this holiday season. Engage your kids in the process by having them gather clothes, toys and other items for donation. The Donation Match Game is a fun way for kids and parents alike to learn about which items are best for donation versus recycling. By donating, you can give toys a second life, safely re-home outdated electronics and become a job creator in our community. And don't forget to browse our store for your holiday gift-giving needs.

Each and every donation to and purchase from Goodwill helps support programs that provide employment assistance to those in need — including people with disabilities, military families, single parents and more. It's good for you and good for our community.

Click here to learn more.

What popular toy of the past 20 years will you be donating this holiday season?

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